Pink eye infection is also known as conjunctivitis. This is a condition that covers the white part of the eyeball and also lines the eyelid. The conjunctiva becomes reddened and the small blood vessels become more visible. Therefore, this makes the eye parts appear reddish and swollen.
Though irritating pink eye irregularly interferes with eye vision. Pink eye is highly contagious therefore early treatment helps reduce its spread. Pink eye is mistaken for other eye conditions that cause eye redness. Such conditions include a foreign object stuck in your body or eye pain. People who use eye lenses should not wear their lenses as soon as the pink eye symptoms start showing.
Types of pink eye infections
- Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis.
Some of the viruses that cause pink eye infection include herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and adenovirus. This type of infection happens along with common colds or respiratory infections such as sore throat. Wearing uncleaned contact lenses or sharing contact lenses is also another cause. This type is mostly spread through direct or indirect contact with the fluid that flows from an infected person’s eye.
- Allergic conjunctivitis.
In most cases, it usually affects both eyes as a response to an allergy-causing substance such as pollen. The body produces an antibody known as immunoglobulin that brings about special cells known as mast cells to release inflammatory substances including histamines. The release of histamine produces several allergic signs, including red and pink eyes. Some of the signs of allergic conjunctivitis include tearing and itchiness of the eyes.
- Irritation conjunctivitis.
Irritation from a chemical splash or a foreign eye object is also associated with conjunctivitis. In some cases cleaning the eye to get rid of the chemical object causes irritation. If cleaning the eye does not resolve the problem one should seek help from an optician.
Causes of pink eye infection
It is mostly caused by a viral, bacterial, or allergic infection. In most cases, it can be irritating leading to the discomfort of the eye. Increased itchiness is also experienced. Pink eye infection can be spread easily from one person to another therefore early treatment can help curb its spread.
Signs and symptoms of pink eye infection
The followings are the signs and symptoms of this infection;
- Redness in the eye.
When the red color appears in one of the eyes this can be an indication of an infection.
- Irritation in the eye.
Increased itchiness in one of the eyes or both eyes is an indication of its infection.
- Discharge from the eyes.
A whitish or cream substance is released from the eyes at night leading to struggling while opening the eyes in the morning can be an indicator of the infection.
The frequent flow of tears in the eyes with no emotions experienced is one of the signs of the infection.
Treatment and prevention
Pink eye infections can be prevented by practicing good hygiene in the following ways;
- By avoiding touching the eyes with hands.
- By cleaning hands often.
- Avoiding sharing eye makeup and private eye care products.
- Changing pillowcases frequently.
Among newborns, it can be prevented by applying an ointment to the infants’ eyes in order to maintain sight. In adults, quick treatment for eye pain can reduce the risk of complications.